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Lewis (LEW) and Fischer 344 (F344) rats differ in their response to drugs and are frequently used as an experimental model to study vulnerability to drug addiction. We have previously reported that significant differences in hippocampal synaptic plasticity exist between LEW and F344 rats after non-contingent chronic cocaine administration. However, given the several biochemical differences between contingent and non-contingent administration of drugs, we have studied here the possible genetic differences in synaptic plasticity after contingent cocaine self-administration. LEW and F344 animals self-administered cocaine (1 mg/kg i.v.) or saline under a fixed ratio 1 schedule of reinforcement for 20 days. After self-administration, electrophysiological experiments were carried out in which hippocampal slices were tetanized with three high frequency pulses in order to induce long-term potentiation (LTP). After a 20 min period of LTP stabilization, a train of low frequency stimulation (LFS; 900 pulses, 1 Hz) was applied to induce depotentiation of LTP. Data showed no differences between cocaine self-administered LEW or F344 rats in the induction of saturated-LTP compared to saline animals. LEW saline self-administered rats showed normal LTP depotentiation whereas cocaine self-administration impaired depotentiation in this rat strain. In the F344 strain, depotentiation of saturated-LTP was impaired both in saline and cocaine self-administered rats. The present results corroborate previous findings showing differences in basal hippocampal synaptic plasticity between LEW and F344 rats. These differences seem to modulate cocaine effects in a manner independent of contingency of drug administration. Copyright © 2011 IBRO. Published by Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.


M Miguéns, S M Coria, A Higuera-Matas, A Fole, E Ambrosio, N Del Olmo. Depotentiation of hippocampal long-term potentiation depends on genetic background and is modulated by cocaine self-administration. Neuroscience. 2011 Jul 28;187:36-42

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PMID: 21565257

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